The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Trading high school sports for a long term soccer career

Rowan D. (‘21) chooses to leave the varsity soccer team after learning of the limited game opportunities for the season (Phoebe Chen/The Blue & Gold).

After a long day of school, most students want to go home to take a nap or play a fun round of video games amongst friends. For former varsity soccer captain Rowan D. (‘21), however, his Tuesday and Thursday after school schedules look much different. 
After getting off of school at 3:35 pm, Rowan rushes home to finish as much homework as possible. At 5 pm, he packs his soccer ball and shin guards to catch an hour and a half long bus ride to (place he goes to practice), where he practices with ACC—Taiwan’s division two men’s soccer league. 
“I only have limited time between after school and practice, so I do not usually finish homework before I leave the home,” Rowan said. “Which means once I get home from practice, I still usually have a lot of homework and studying to get through until I can finally go to sleep.” 
After a one and a half to two hour soccer session, Rowan finally finishes practice. Then, he either catches a ride with another player, or takes yet another hour and a half long bus ride home. By the time Rowan returns home, it is usually 9 or 10 pm already. 
“The change from playing TAS sports and ACC soccer has been huge for me,” Rowan said. “Everything used to be so convenient—you get out of class, change and then walk over to practice on the field. Things just are not like that anymore.” 
Yet, the long hours put in are worth every second to Rowan and his long term soccer goals. “The intention right now is to get in as many games as possible with experienced players and coaches, because experience is ultimately what makes a player improve,” Rowan said.
To Rowan, soccer is not just another high school sport; being on the soccer field has also taught Rowan life lessons that he still holds onto closely today. “To me, soccer parallels daily life because just like life, there are goals, hardships and fun involved in the game,” Rowan said. “Plus, playing soccer means being able to mentally prepare myself, which is important because I aspire to maintain a positive mindset even at times of loss.”
Additionally, Rowan’s soccer abilities were also what led him to making friends when he first moved to TAS. “Moving from Mexico meant there were a lot of cultural differences as well as language barriers with students [at TAS],” Rowan said. “It was not easy moving to the other side of the world and fitting in right away, and the first friends I made were all people I met on the soccer field.” 
Through playing soccer with ACC, Rowan hopes to make the most of his resources and become the best player possible. “Leaving my TAS soccer roots behind was difficult, but once I made the decision to do so, it was not hard following through,” Rowan said. “It is just something I have to do to get better and become the player I want to be.”

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